Interesting enough, the German Youth Hostel was created for just such a purpose. Richard Schirrmann was a German WWI soldier who took part in an unofficial ceasefire and display of goodwill between enemy troops during the Christmas Truce: "When the Christmas bells sounded in the villages of the Vosges behind the lines ..... something fantastically unmilitary occurred. German and French troops spontaneously made peace and ceased hostilities; they visited each other through disused trench tunnels, and exchanged wine, cognac and cigarettes for Westphalian black bread, biscuits and ham. This suited them so well that they remained good friends even after Christmas was over." Military commanders soon ordered soldiers to start fighting again, but Schirrmann wondered whether "thoughtful young people of all countries could be provided with suitable meeting places where they could get to know each other." He went on to found the Youth Hostel Association: <br />
"To promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world, and as ancillary thereto, to provide hostels or other accommodation in which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions and thereby to develop a better understanding of their fellow men, both at home and abroad."
quite a sad assessment
I have many times.
In my experience yes but everyone is out for a good time not a long time.
Yes, I met my best friend in a youth hostel in Trier and have been friends with him ever since. He was the best man at my wedding and I have been to Germany at least six times and he has come to the states at least 9 times over the years.